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The Flames in pros’ dilemma

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Malawi National Football Team’s preparations for the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Castle Cup have been thrown into disarry as some foreign-based players are doubtful for the tournament that kicks-off next week in South Africa.

Flames Captain Limbikani Mzava of Golden Arrows, Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits, Platinum Stars’ Gerald Phiri Junior and Robert Ng’ambi, Mozambique-based midfielder Frank Banda and goalkeeper Charles Swini are still wanted back by their clubs.

Ng’ambi was ready to join the team having missed the Flames’ 1-0 win over Comoros Islands in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday.

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Swini and Banda were expected to report back for duties at Songo FC in Mozambique on Monday and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) is negotiating for their release.

However, Mozambique-based Christopher John Banda (Ferroviaro de Nampula) and Richard Mbulu of Costa do Sol are available.

Fam Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale, who is negotiating the players’ release, said the footballers’ availability will be established Thursday.

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“We have made contacts and we are hoping for a favourable response,” Jangale said at MDC Ground on Tuesday after the Flames’ open-day training session.

The Flames Team Manager, James Sangala, said they were keeping their fingers crossed over the issue.

“Of course, Fam has, through Mr Jangale, contacted the concerned teams so we are waiting for feedback to plan our next move. Obviously, as per Cosafa rules and regulations, we are supposed to pick 20 players and the coach will have to drop those that will not impress. If we lose the services of some professionals, then the coach will decide if we need replacements,” he said.

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